Western Animation / Dennis the Menace

Ruff, Gina Gillotti, Jay Weldon, Dennis Mitchell, Margaret Wade and Joey McDonald

In 1986, Dennis the Menace (US) was adapted into a 65-Episode Cartoon for U.S. syndication by DiC Entertainment, later moving to Saturday Mornings on CBS.

The 1980s animated series provides examples of:

  • Acrofatic: Mr. Wilson.
  • And a Diet Coke: Concerned over Mr. Wilson's health, his wife forces him to enter a gym. When Dennis' antics get him expelled from there, Mr. Wilson is grateful enough to give the kid a sundae. Mr. Wilson has one as well but, wanting to lose weight, gives Dennis his sundae's cherry.
  • Animesque: Not so much the character designs, but the animation style is very Japanese. It's especially evident in the intro sequence.
  • Banister Slide
  • Canada, Eh?: However, this plays up to stereotypes.
  • Canon Foreigner: PeeBee, Jay,note  Lars, Mr. Cavallini and Professor Mentalapse.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The episode Trembly Assembly is notorious for this; not to mention the writing is oft-criticised, and the plain Mind Screw situation.
  • Five-Token Band: Dennis, Joey, PeeBee, Jay and Gina. A semi-recurring character named Tommy was ironically the Sixth Ranger. Margaret sometimes fills the Sixth Ranger as well.
  • Full Name Ultimatum: Margaret often does this to "Dennis Mitchell!".note 
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • This exchange from "The Abominable Snow Menace":
    Martha: Isn't it just too lucky for words?
    George: Well, I can think of a few words.
    Dennis: What are they, Mr. Wilson?
    George: If I told you, you'd have to have your ears washed out with soap.
    • Joey apparently flips off Mrs. Wilson in "The Invisible Kid".
    • In "Deserted with Dennis", Mr. Wilson discovers Dennis in his suitcase when he flies to a remote island. After Dennis asks where they are, Mr. Wilson says, "I thought it was heaven, now I'm changing my mind!"
  • Headless Horseman: There was an episode where Dennis scared some people by pretending to be a headless horseman.
  • Market-Based Title: Just "Dennis" in the UK due to the Name's the Same Dennis the Menace (UK).
    • All-New Dennis the Menace was called Incredible Dennis the Menace in some countries.
  • Off Model: This is a DiC cartoon after all.
  • Revival: Brought back in 2003.
    • Before that, there was one in 1993.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: One episode has Joey mistaking a bar of "Saop" for cheese.
  • Second Place Is for Winners: Mr. Wilson enters a contest for a vacation. He wins first prize, but the vacation package is second prize. First prize is... a pet goose or duck.
  • Shout-Out: In one episode, Dennis hums the theme to Inspector Gadget.
  • Stealth Pun: The original characters PeeBee and Jay. Think about that for a second.
  • The Tonsillitis Episode: One episode had Dennis in the hospital for a "tonsil-neck-tummy".
  • Tsundere: Margaret (at least in this version) is type A.
  • Through a Face Full of Fur: At times with Mr. Wilson, whenever Dennis and his friends mean well in helping him but unintentionally doing more harm, which aroused enough anger in him to turn red in the face.
  • Zeerust: Dennis sneaks out to see The Future in 3D.